The 111 Contact Code has been developed to protect vulnerable consumers who rely on their home phones at a certain premise to contact 111 emergency services during a power cut.
The information below explains what devices and technologies are impacted during powercuts, alternative means to call 111 emergency services, provisions for “vulnerable persons”, and how to contact Wireless Nation for more information or disputes.
Please share this with all members of your household that are users of a Wireless Nation home phone (landline) service at your address.
1. Technologies & devices that may fail in a power cut & impact on ability to call 111
During a power cut to your premises, and without a power back-up device connecting the modem/router and phone, these devices and your internet and landline services will not work, and you will not be able to call emergency services on 111 via your Wireless Nation landline phone service.
2. Alternative means to call 111
In an event such as a power cut, you could use a mobile phone if you are in mobile phone coverage to call 111 emergency services. We recommend keeping your mobile phone charged up at all times. Alternatively, you might have some sort of electricity back-up, such as a battery, UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) device or power generator to keep your modem and phone running during a power cut.
If you have a “traditional” analogue landline provided via copper cable via another provider, the line will continue to work in a power cut as long you have a phone connected that does not need a separate power supply.
3. Definition of a Vulnerable Consumer and Qualification
If you are a “vulnerable” consumer under the definition of the Telecommunications Act 2001 and the “111 Contact Code”, you might be entitled to an alternative means to contact 111 in a power cut at no cost to you. A landline service provider cannot terminate your landline phone service on the basis that you are or may become a “vulnerable” person.
To qualify as a “vulnerable” person you must be at particular risk of requiring 111 services such as:
- a known applicable medical condition
- be exposed to family violence
- have certain disabilities.
You will need to show supporting evidence of this in the form from either:
- A completed Electricity Authority ‘Notice of Potential Medically Dependant Consumer (MDC) Status’ form, which includes a certification from a DHB, private hospital or GP. Go to Electricity Authority: Medically dependent and vulnerable customers
- A protection order
- A letter from a health practitioner (e.g., a GP)
- Documentation of impairment (e.g., an ID card)
A nominated person can be:
- If the health or disability category has been ticked in the form, then a health practitioner (such as a GP) could be a nominated person.
- If the safety category has been ticked, then a police officer, a currently registered social worker, a lawyer (with a current practising certificate), or a family court judge could be a nominated person
You will not qualify if you:
- have access to a mobile phone and are able to make calls to 111 emergency services, or
- your services are already protected by a backup generator or battery,
- or your landline is provided by copper, as this technology does not rely on power at the premise and will continue to work in a power failure.
4. Process to apply
An application form must be filled in full and submitted to us via email to email@example.com or via letter to Wireless Nation Ltd., PO Box 91359, Auckland 1142.
You can find the application form here.
Once we receive a completed form, we will accept or decline your application as a vulnerable customer within 10 working days. If it is declined, we will inform you of the reason, if it is accepted, we will provide you with an alternative means to contact 111 by the end of July 2021.
How will Wireless Nation use this information on the application form?
Wireless Nation will only use the information collected on the form to process an application. Beyond this, Wireless Nation has a requirement to securely store this information as required by the Code in the event we are asked by the Commission to provide information supporting an application. This requires us to store your information for a period of 5 years or more after you stop being a Wireless Nation customer, your application is declined, or the person stopped being a vulnerable consumer.
If you send us additional information in support of your application (for example a certificate confirming your medical status) we will record that we have seen and reviewed these. We will then destroy any supporting documents you have sent us. Therefore, it is important that you only send us copies of these documents and you keep the originals safe yourself.
5. How to contact us to find more information or to complain
If you or a consumer at your premises disagree with the decision or a dispute arises about any rights or obligations under the 111 Contact Code you can lay a complaint with us via:
Phone: 09 280 3672
Failing a resolution with us, you can lay a complaint primarily with an industry dispute resolution scheme or the Commerce Commission.
NZ Relay is an excellent service to help deaf, hearing impaired, blind or speech impaired persons with critical information.
6. What device will I get as a backup if my application is successful?
Devices will be provided to customers based on the vulnerable consumer’s needs and mobile coverage availability. This could be a very basic mobile without a sim card that can still call 111, or if a mobile device is not suitable, then a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) may be provided.
Note: the first devices will not be dispatched to customers until approximately 1 August 2021.